Five more people implicated one way or another in selling or purchasing cocaine through an undercover state police operation were charged Wednesday, including a 32-year-old mother accused of selling drugs from her city home, where she lived with her three children.
"I didn't know this was so serious," Taheria S. Hines, of 1010 Elizabeth St., told District Judge Allen P. Page during her arraignment Wednesday afternoon on 13 charges, including being part of a corrupt organization, a felony.
She and some of the others who were arrested allegedly "conspired to act in a pattern of racketeering in allegedly selling drugs from late July 2011 to early last month," according to police.
Hines has been accused of personally being involved in drug sales at her home and at other locations between early August this year and Sept. 12, police said in court papers.
Following her arraignment on other charges, ranging from conspiracy to possession with intent to deliver cocaine to endangering the welfare of children, Hines was committed to the Lycoming County Prison in lieu of $75,000.
The four others arrested on Wednesday already were behind bars on other charges or a parole violation.
Among those taken from the jail was Tariq A. Lowe, of 1546 W. Fourth St., who was arraigned on one count each of being part of a corrupt organization and possession of cocaine.
"Judge, how long have you been doing this?" Lowe asked Page during the proceedings.
"Twenty-six years," replied the judge, referring to the number of years he has been a county district judge.
"I'm 28. At least they got me in front of somebody who knows what he's doing," Lowe said.
Lowe was recommitted to the jail in lieu of an additional $250,000 bail.
The new charges against Lowe as well as those filed against 11 others so far this week are all part of an expanding investigation that first became public when Lowe and two other men, Joseph T. Wilson and Khalil Fulks, were taken into custody on Sept. 7.
The men allegedly conspired in selling drugs at various locations as well as at the Elizabeth Street home that Fulks, 26, and Hines share, police said.
Wilson, 32, of 515 E. Second Ave., South Williamsport, was another inmate arraigned Wednesday morning before Page. He faces 50 additional charges, ranging from being part of a corrupt organization to multiple counts of conspiracy to possession with intent to deliver cocaine. He was recommitted in lieu of $150,000 bail.
Also facing a corrupt organization charge as well as 13 additional drug-related offenses was county prison inmate Darron Matthew Hunter, 34, of 1129 E. Third St. In jail on a parole violation, he was recommitted in lieu of $225,000 bail.
The fourth inmate arraigned Wednesday was Joshua Lamar Cobb, who turns 26 on Sunday and lives at 1546 E. Third St. He faces just two counts each of theft and receiving stolen property, police said.
The charges against Cobb stem from an incident on Jan. 27 when he took $1,350 from a confidential informant to get the informant some drugs but just walked away with the money, failing to live up to his end of the bargain, police allege.
Cobb, jailed since February on several firearms violations, was recommitted in lieu of $15,000 bail.
Cobb, a convicted felon, was arrested earlier this year on city police charges for allegedly giving a stolen handgun to a woman, who then used the weapon to shoot her estranged husband on Feb. 12.
The victim, who survived, was shot in the doorway of his home in the 1100 block of Memorial Avenue.